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BUSINESS
June 7, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column, "Finally, AT&T writes a contract in plain English," May 31: "The 8,000-word contract was a triumph of consumer-unfriendliness" -- and clearly was written by lawyers on steroids! Michael Lohnberg Agoura Hills
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BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Julia is apparently having trouble with her mortgage lender because she wants to know how long such companies have to maintain phone records. I'm guessing that she's hoping there's a smoking gun in one of her past conversations with a bank rep. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Federal law requires that big banks keep customers' checking and savings records for a minimum of five years. Mortgage records can vary from state to state, but it looks like most require that such files be kept for at least three years.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2013 | By David Lazarus
I don't get bitcoins. I'm not saying they're a scam. I just don't get them. For the uninitiated, bitcoins are a made-up digital currency not backed by the full faith and credit of any government. They're worth only what users say they're worth. And they seem to be growing in popularity (except in China, which says it wants nothing to do with them). ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Fred says he doesn't have any bitcoins. But if he did, he wants to know if he could exchange them for real dollars.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Godfrey is fed up with those subscription cards that come tumbling out of magazines. Why do publishers bother using them? The publishing industry calls these things "blow-in" cards, and they've been around for years as a way to attract new subscribers. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In 2009, the New York Times reported that blow-in cards appeared to be falling out of favor as digital distribution grew. But there's not much evidence to back that up. So why does this pesky practice persist?
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1988
When people attending the Bruce Springsteen concert pay scalpers $350-$850 for a $25 ticket, it is easy to understand why we have inflation. The consumer is being consumed. MONROE RUBINGER Beverly Hills
OPINION
September 15, 1991
In its editorial "Help Wanted From the Fed," Sept. 7), The Times wants the Fed to boost economic activity by cutting interest rates even more and "that should help fuel consumer spending and fire up the recovery." The Times seems to forget that millions of consumers depend on interest income to make ends meet. If their interest income goes lower, how would that fuel consumer spending and fire up the economy? C.B. MIRKIN Los Angeles
OPINION
June 28, 2012
Re "Suit targets consumer watchdog," Business, June 23 I found it amusing to read that C. Boyden Gray, an attorney in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, complains about how unfair and wrong it is that "if you're a poor beleaguered financial institution … and you are set upon by this bureau, you have no access to the democratic system … to appeal what's happened. " Perhaps Gray might also consider the plight of a private individual set upon by one of those "poor beleaguered financial institutions.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2014 | By David Lazarus
David wants to know if there's a best time to buy cruise tickets. Do you get the best deals if you dive in early and book months in advance, or is it smartest to wait until the last minute and see what's available? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. To find out what the experts say, check out today's Ask Laz video. If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz .
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